Alfred Ward - Joins the Philadelphia Fire Department on a Whim in 1950
Alfred Ward was born in 1928 and was raised in South Philadelphia. I spoke with Alfred at his home in Mount Airy. Alfred joined the Philadelphia Fire Department on a whim in 1950 and retired 28 years later. He talks about how he went about learning to be a fireman at a time when training began the first day on the job. From 1919 - 1952 Engine 11 and Fireboat 1 were manned by African-American fireman only. Alfred is one of five surviving retirees who worked at Engine 11 before the Philadelphia Fire Department was desegregated in 1952.